Maine Coon History
- A true all-American cat, the Maine Coon originated in New England (principally, Maine) as the United States was forming.
- Many myths surround the origins of the Maine Coon. A popular legend contends that Maine Coons got their start as a result of a botched plan to rescue Marie Antoinette. It is said that Captain Nathaniel Cloud loaded the queen’s six Persian and Angora cats on his boat but failed to free her near the end of the French Revolution. He allowed these royal cats to mingle with local cats in the New World, passing on the longhair gene to future generations.
- Although popular as a hardy cat capable of enduring New England winters, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the Maine Coon earned championship status by the CFA.
- The official state cat of Maine.
- Coveted for their mousing skills by New England farmers in the 1800s.
Maine Coon Behavior Concerns
- Super mellow and affectionate to people, cats and dogs - an ideal cat for busy households.
- Sweet and smart, the Maine Coon display affection by emitting chirps and trills and head butting.
- Extremely dexterous, the Maine Coon acts like a raccoon by scooping up food and water with its paws and dunking favorite toys in the water bowl.
- Be warned that some Maine Coons like water so much that they may join you in the shower.
- Can be clicker trained to perform basic commands and tricks.
- Can be a bit clumsy and miscalculate heights when jumping on surfaces.
- In cat shows, a Maine Coon can sport a variety of coat colors, but the tail must be kink-free to be considered for awards.
Look of Maine Coons
- Resembles a small bobtail with large frame, barrel chest, its tuft ears, full mane, shaggy weatherproof coat and bushy tail.
- The head is large and square with big, expressive eyes that are wide set.
- Males weigh up to 20 pounds, 8 pounds more than females. Their bodies can stretch up to 40 inches in length.
- Standing head and shoulders over most feline breeds and some toy dog breeds, the Maine Coon is often a popular pick for dog-loving people looking to adopt a cat.
- Comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
- One of the slowest growing cat breeds, the Maine Coon does not reach full maturity until age 4.
Grooming Maine Coon Cats
- Despite its long hair, the Maine Coon’s grooming needs are surprisingly minimal. The coat does not tend to develop hair mats as easily as other longhaired breeds, especially the Persian.
- Use a metal comb once a week to groom the coat to keep it tangle-free.
Suggested Nutritional Needs for Maine Coon
- To prevent this breed from becoming overweight, feed high-protein, nutritionally balanced cat food three or four times a day. Do not permit free feeding.
- Check with your veterinarian about the need to add any vitamins, minerals or other supplements to your cat’s diet.
Fun Facts of Maine Coons
- Enjoys many nicknames, including “Gentle Giant,” “Shags,” and “Feline Greeters of the World.”
- Prone to polydactylism (extra toes), a congenital condition that causes no adverse health concerns.
- Despite their large size, the Maine Coon tends to chirp rather than deliver boisterous meows.
>>> SEE ALSO: Know Your Pet